EAST QUOGUE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — On the East End of Long Island, many school districts are scrambling to find extra space and teachers.
It’s due to an influx of families from New York City, who are renting, buying or just staying beyond the summer season, CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported Monday.
The Hochhauser family moved from their rental in Forest Hills, Queens to a rental in East Quogue and are paying the same. They enrolled their sons in public school in-person five days a week. They said the boys had been miserable in remote learning.
“First of all, you can’t see any of your friends when you are quarantining,” 7-year-old Sam said.
“Back in New York City, I would be going into middle school. Here, I’m still in elementary school,” 11-year-old Nicholas added.
Parents Jaime and Matthew said it was a tough decision. They work from home and were struggling in Queens.
“We couldn’t log on and the Wi-Fi wasn’t working well. The links shut down,” Jaime Hochhauser said.
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Rentals are up 77% on the East End and North Fork. Home buying surged 50% in August.
“Stressful for everyone who is living in the city. We came out here. We are very fortunate to have all this space, fresh air,” Matthew Hochhauser said.
Ten East End and North Fork public school districts McLogan spoke to said enrollment increased, but are able to handle it. They said they rely on the property tax base to hire extra teachers.
Montauk said it is up almost 50 students, but has been able to hire reassigned teachers and repurpose classrooms.
The private Ross School of East Hampton saw such a surge.
“We’ve had a lot of families relocate from New York City,” Ross’ Andi O’Hearn said.
It reopened its shuttered campus in Bridgehampton and now has 30% scholarship students.
“Last year, at the beginning of September, we had 16 new students. This year, we had over 100,” O’Hearn said.
Transplanted families McLogan spoke to expressed apprehension about New York City schools, and the perception that the quality of life there is declining.
Noah and Layla Stern begged their parents to remain out East. They moved to Water Mill last March from Manhattan.
“That’s why we decided to stay. I didn’t want to do remote. I knew that we couldn’t do remote from our apartment in the city,” parent Haley Stern said.
The families said their kids have never been happier. And as for making the relocation permanent, “I just have to get my husband around to it a little, since he is a born and bred Manhattanite,” Jaime Hochhauser said.
They said it’s about staying positive.
Multiple villages and towns said they are in the midst of surveying local residents and business owners to get a pulse on how they feel about the migration east.
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